Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s a pretty good family fun film, with a magical element. In a way I’d describe it as being like Willy Wonka, but about toys instead of about candy! It is colourful, wacky, moving and slightly eccentric as the old owner of a toy store, Mr Magorium (the outstanding Dustin Hoffman) passes on, and his younger female assistant Molly (Natalie Portman) takes over the running of the store. But this is no ordinary store, but a magic toy store. The lead characters are strong in the movie, including young Eric (Zach Mills) and it ends very nicely, if a little abruptly!
Faith – OR – Believing in yourself
Chapter 14 – Chapter 15. Take it from 1.16.16 when Molly opens the door to let Henry ‘the mutant’ into the store. The clip ends at the end of the movie. End at 1.24.44 when Eric says, “And that’s how Molly Mahoney’s story began’ and it fades to black).
(Alternatively, go from the start of Chapter 14 at 1.10.41 – from when Eric says, “This chapter is called A New Beginning”.)
In a sense, the faith link in this story is a little tenuous, but passable (!!) The store is about to be sold when suddenly Molly finds that a block of wood given to her by Mr Magorium moves when she believes in herself. Henry picks up on the fact that it’s when she has faith in herself that things come alive. When she starts to process this and take it on board, she then acts and steps out in faith. As she does, the dull grey room comes to life in glorious technicolour (as the old movies used to say).
1. What do you have faith in? Why do you have faith in this? What does the Bible say?
2. Why do we so often believe what the world or the devil says (you’re not good enough, God’s not really with you, God’s word isn’t true) – rather than believe God and his Word. God’s Word says you are good enough, God will never leave you and the Word is truth! Why do we do this? How can we change?
3. Should we believe in ourselves? The Bible says that God hates pride and that we should humble ourselves (get in our right place) before God and in time, he will promote us. But Jesus also taught that we shouldn’t hide our light but allow it to shine before people. How do we let our light shine and be in our right place before our all-powerful God?
4. Molly Mahoney inherits a ‘magic toy store’ but the magic only happens when she has faith. What does the Bible say about faith and the power that God has given us? In order for us to see amazing God-things happen, do we need to use our faith? How do we do this?
5. How can we add more ‘colour’ into our Christian lives? So many Christians seem to live boring, grey and dull lives. But Jesus came to give us life today as well as eternal life. How do we reach a place where Jesus followers are the most exciting, creative people around? Is this even something we should aim for?